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G-P to Get $1-2 Million Subsidy to Support $135 Million Investment at Muskogee Tissue Mill

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According to a recent article in the Muskogee Phoenix, Muskogee, Okla., USA, port authority directors awarded multiple incentives worth up to $500,000 to subsidize improvements planned by Georgia-Pacific, Atlanta, Ga., during the next three years at its Muskogee mill. G-P plans to upgrade its bath tissue and paper towel manufacturing operations in Muskogee. Company officials identified $135 million worth of projects — approved and proposed investments — they expect to undertake beginning this year.

Some improvements planned for the local mill are intended to help it meet "existing and projected demand" for its product lines. Others will "help improve employee safety, environmental performance, reliability, and quality."

Rodney Bond, VP of manufacturing at the Muskogee mill, saiud that "these types of investments help us to be a more competitive business and ensure that we remain a valued employer in Muskogee.. We appreciate the support that the community provides us — Muskogee is a great place to live and... a great place to do business."

The local incentives are being made available through the Muskogee City-County Port Authority’s strategic investment program. The program was initiated in 2014 with financial support from the City of Muskogee Foundation, which awarded a $3 million grant this year to fund incentives.

Program incentives are available to local companies that plan to add qualified jobs or make eligible investments in new equipment or facilities and plant expansions. The performance-based incentive awarded Tuesday to G-P falls under the latter category, but the contract approved by port authority directors cites job retention as another anticipated outcome.

Eric Miller, director of the port authority’s business and economic development division, described G-P as "a corporate and civic stalwart in Muskogee." In a media release issued Tuesday after directors approved the incentive package, Miller said he was "delighted to be able to support Georgia-Pacific's Muskogee facility's continued growth and vitality."

According to the contract approved by port authority directors, G-P will "make commercially reasonable efforts to commence the physical construction of improvements ... within 180 days." It must "proceed to completion ... without interruption of a material duration."

In exchange, the port authority will make payments in an amount equal to 1% of G-P’s capital investments up to $500,000. Incentive payments willl be made annually once G-P’s capital expenditures have been certified.

G-P, the largest private-sector employer in the city, employs more than 900 people at its Muskogee mill, with an annual payroll of about $75 million. Kimbra Scott, a spokeswoman for the port authority and its economic development arm, said those jobs at the mill indirectly create another 3,000 area jobs.


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